Coronavirus: GP says 'Omicron is beating the booster'
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The Omicron variant has elicited milder illness among the vaccinated population, but its capacity for transmission remains unmatched. Though symptoms are less severe, the long-term effects of Omicron among vaccinated populations remain understudied. Additionally, the impact of three doses of the Covid vaccine on post-acute symptoms remains largely unexplored.
A recent Danish study confirmed that the frequency of symptoms and health-related problems drop drastically after a third dose of the Covid booster vaccine.
The recent findings drew from a data set abstained during a national Danish questionnaire survey to evaluate the risk of 26 post-acute symptoms after an omicron infection, four months after the positive test.
The report concluded: “A considerable amount of cases infected during the Omicron period experience post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems, four months after testing […].
“During the Omicron period, a booster vaccination dose was associated with fewer post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems, four months after infection, compared to two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.”
The post-acute-infection symptoms studied were:
- Physical, cognitive and mental functioning
- Five newly developed health problems
To carry out the research more than 34,000 participants were recruited from the Omicron phase, and 9,388 Covid positive individuals were recruited from the Delta phases.
Medical Life Sciences reported that “four months after a confirmatory infection, the most common post-acute symptom was fatigue/exhaustion, muscle/joint pain, headache and runny nose”.
It continued: “The prevalence of these post-acute symptoms during the Omicron phases matched those in the Delta phase.”
New-onset mental exhaustion, memory issues, and concentration problems were less common in individuals vaccinated with three doses than those who received two COVID-19 vaccine doses – four months after infection during the Omicron wave.
A notable observation was that the risk of dysosmia and dysgeusia decreased during the Omicron wave.
The Zoe Covid app, which keeps a detailed account of symptoms prevalence based on user data acquisition, has made similar observations.
A recent analysis conducted by the app looked at health reports from contributors with positive cases in December 2021, when Omicron became dominant.
These data were compared with data from earlier waves when the Delta was the main variant in circulation.
The top five symptoms in both periods were:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat.
These findings were later confirmed by an analysis of contributors were had received confirmation from the government that positive PCR rests results were suspected or confirmed Omicron infections.
Doctor Claire Steves, a scientist from the ZOE Covid Study and Reader at King’s College London, said runny nose affected nearly 73 percent of new cases, while sore throat occurred in roughly 60 percent of infections.
The ZOE website cautions: “While Omicron may feel more like a cold to many of us, it can still hospitalise and kill people or leave them suffering with long-term symptoms that disrupt their day-to-day lives.
“Also, the fact that Omicron is much more infections than Delta means it can spread quickly.”
Anyone who experiences symptoms is expected to get tested and isolate until they’ve received their test result, to help stop the spread of the virus.
Additionally, anyone eligible for a booster dose of the Covid vaccine is encouraged to come forward for their immunisation top-up.
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